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Family Dynamics During the Holidays

Family Dynamics During the Holidays

Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley answer listener questions on how to successfully navigate family relationships during the holidays, and help couples work as a team to balance chores, budgets and family demands.

Original Air Date: December 9, 2013

Opening:

John Fuller: All right, so we’ve got Thanksgiving done and we turn the corner now for Christmas and New Year’s and it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be one of the most stressful times of the year because of family.

Clips:

Woman: I think one of the most stressful things about the holiday season for me is just parents and relatives. It seems like everybody wants you to come to their house on the day.

End of Clips

John: You might be facing those kinds of dynamics and then when you finally do get together, there are fireworks, not the July 4th kind, but there’s tension. We’re gonna be talking about how you can manage that better on today’s “Focus on the Family” with Focus president and author, Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller and we’re coming back to a recorded conversation to help you through the holidays. Here’s how Jim began that discussion.

Jim Daly: John, in preparation for this program, we took a Facebook poll, which we do from time to time. And we asked the question, what family situations cause you the most stress during the holidays. And we’re gonna address some of those questions today. We did receive hundreds of (Chuckling) responses.

John: Uh-hm.

Jim: So, I know that this season–Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s–causes so much stress, particularly for wives and what is expected of them at this time.

John: Yeah, one woman told us via that Facebook poll, she said, “It doesn’t matter the situation. Family just stresses me out during the holiday[s].”

Jim: I think most people would identify with that and it shouldn’t be that way, but it tends to be that way.

John: Well, we want to get ahead of that curve. We want to be proactive and help you get a handle on all of this before you get stressed out. So, to help us do that, we have a couple of staff members, some regulars here on the broadcast, Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley. Greg is the vice president of Family Ministries here and Erin is part of the marriage team.

Body:

Jim: Greg and Erin, it is great to have you back and what a topic to talk about (Chuckling). Are you prepared for the holiday season?

Greg Smalley: My forehead is already beading up with sweat–

Jim: In–

Greg: –thinking about all these expectations and how we’re gonna work through them.

Jim: –in fact–

Greg: It’s not easy.

Jim: –you guys talked about this last night, didn’t you?

Erin Smalley: Yes.

Jim: Erin, did it go well?

Erin: We did. Well, actually the conversation was first–

Greg: I wasn’t there.

Erin: –between (Laughter) …

Greg: I’m sure it went–

Erin: So, it went very well.

Greg: –really well.

Jim: Erin talked about it with her parents.

Erin: No, with his mother.

Jim: Okay.

Erin: So, I had a discussion about this with my mother-in-law about–

Jim: Norma Smalley.

Erin: –the plan for the holidays.

Greg: My mommy, she loves me. (Laughter)

Jim: And how’d that conversation go?

Erin: You know what? It went really well and actually, I heard many stories about him from the holidays and somethin’ about a chipped plate.

Jim: (Chuckling) A chipped plate?

John: You had to bring that up, I guess.

Greg: (Laughter) This is one of the–

Jim: His face was blank.

Greg: –biggest problems of coming together.

Jim: Okay, well tell us [about] the chipped plate; you gotta tell us.

Greg: Apparently when I was very young, my mom inherited this china set from her mom.

Erin: Well, actually, her dad who didn’t have a lot of money, went out and bought Christmas dishes for her. And so, it was a very–

Greg: That’s even worse.

Erin: –a very big–

Jim: These were special.

Erin: –deal.

Greg: Yeah.

Erin: They were very special.

Jim: And what did little Greggy do with them?

Greg: It looked like a Frisbee; it flew like (Laughter) a Frisbee. It did not land like a Frisbee.

Jim: So, you ruined the eight-piece set and turned it into a seven-piece set.

Greg: Seven point, like seven. It was just a chip.

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: But she glued it back together with the chip in it and from that point on, every Christmas he has to use that plate.

Jim: Oh.

Greg: It’s like a–

Erin: That has been–

Greg: –reminder.

Erin: –his honor.

Jim: That caused a little bit of stress back then.

John: And it illustrates, Jim, I mean, if you’re a parent of a child who does that at say, an in-laws, I mean, goodness. There’s a lot of attendant stress with that and awkwardness and embarrassment. I mean, there really are a lot of situations here–

Jim: Well, there are.

John: –we have to deal with.

Jim: In fact, a recent study by the American Psychological Association found that women feel stressed during the holidays far more than men to (Laughing) Oh man, I’m thinkin’ of the football games on television.

John: Yeah, we just sit there–

Jim: How many guys–

John: and watch.

Jim: –the stress for them, man, do I really got to get up and get a bowl of potato chips. (Laughter)

Greg: We relax. (Laughter)

Erin: Yeah.

Greg: That’s a big decision.

Jim: That is a big decision.

Greg: To go for barbecue, sour cream and onion (Laughter), you know.

Jim: There’s so many choices of–

Greg: There is.

Jim: –potato chips today. But listen, here’s what the survey said. These were in descending order, the No. 1, No. 2, etc. causes of stress. One is lack of time. I think particularly again, there’s so much to do in that moment of getting the house ready and preparing things and kids and meals and so, lack of time was No. 1.

Lack of money, how are we gonna pay for this? We’ll talk about that in a little while, how to budget wisely for the holidays. The commercialism and the hype, that was No. 3. Pressure of giving or getting gifts. Now that’s kinda the bah-humbug spirit (Laughing), I think. I don’t want to have that pressure of having to give or get a gift.

Greg: Yeah, where’s the pressure in getting (Laughter) a gift? I’m missing something.

Jim: Well, you gotta write a thank-you note.

Greg: I’m very relaxed when people are handing me presents. I mean …

Jim: Just cascades, all the things you have to do. Family gatherings and that’s the one we really want to zero in on. And I think we should start there. Talk about that pressure. What’s going on and why can’t couples simply relax? What are the typical pressures that couples face during the holidays?

Greg: You know, you can narrow it down to one word and it really is around expectations. And expectations are, I’ve put them on myself and we’ve got family, extended family who are expecting certain things. And yet, no one’s talking about these. That is always the problem with expectations is, that oftentimes we don’t even know.

Let me give you an example of my own expectations. I think part of the problem is that people wrap this enormous amount of expectations into these family gatherings to make up for the whole rest of the year. They walk in thinking that we’re gonna have this glorious time and connect as a family. It’s gonna be great and we’ll be singing by the fireplace and it’s gonna go wonderfully, the best time of the year. And it doesn’t often work out that way because there’s so many variables that can go wrong.

Literally, we just saw this. I recognized this, this past summer. And we went on a family trip to a family camp. And instantly, I think the first morning my middle daughter and I get in this big argument. Well, it escalates to this big fight and I couldn’t figure out why am I in this huge fight with my daughter? And the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was because I had all these expectations of how we were just gonna be arm-in-arm as a family and–

Jim: She had other ideas.

Greg: –she had other ideas (Laughter). Or I guess the point is, that it doesn’t always work out that way. And so, the moment that our expectations start to collapse, see it creates conflict. It creates disappointment. We might shut down. So, there’s a lot going on internally, but then you’ve got all these external expectations of what our family’s wanting and hoping and expecting for.

Erin: And often, these come from how we grew up and typically, I mean, I grew up much differently than Greg as far as what we did around the holidays. And so, my expectations were very different than his. And so, then you introduce, you know, 10 other people and often those expectations clash, because nobody really is identifying what they’re expecting.

Greg: Well, she …

Erin: They’re unaware.

Jim: Right.

Greg: Well, they opened their presents Christmas Eve. And I mean, when we–

Jim: That’s awesome.

Greg: –first got married (Laughter), I couldn’t wrap my brain around that.

Jim: You had to wait.

Greg: How does Santa’s [do it]? He hadn’t gotten there yet. I mean, this happens Christmas morning. I mean, there was–

Erin: Oh, Santa came to–

Greg: –so much.

Erin: –my house on–

Greg: Yeah.

Erin: –Christmas Eve.

Jim: Yeah. That was the first stop, Greg; didn’t you know?

Greg: All right, well apparently–

Erin: Some of us–

Greg: –I didn’t–

Erin: –were higher–

Greg: –realize.

Erin: –on the list.

Jim: Erin, you know, Erin’s a good kid. (Laughter) That’s the bottom line.

Greg: Actually good, ’cause [not] that Smalley kid.

Jim: One of the things you’re saying you’re saying I want to make sure I capture it is, especially for newly married couples, it’s important to lay out the expectations. One of the biggest fights early in your relationship can be where are you going to spend Christmas? Are we gonna be with your parents or my parents? And oftentimes that first or second Christmas, you both think it’s going to be your parents and you haven’t talked about it. And it’s late into December and you realized, oh, you thought we were going there. I thought we were going over here.

Greg: Oh.

Jim: How do you do that and what should you do?

Greg: I mean, (Laughter) first and foremost, that young couple have to [sic[ realize that their marriage, their relationship is the top priority. And so, they have to go into that decision making, realizing that our marriage is top priority. We’ve got to figure out what is gonna work best for us? Because it’s very hard to please everybody, so now you’ve got all these expectations out there. And so, if you don’t have a starting point, then it can be very difficult to make the decision. And so, I think the greatest thing they can do is to sit down and actually begin to talk about it early on. And just, you know, what do we want to do? See, so–

Jim: So, it’s, agree as a couple.

Greg: –it’s gotta start here. And then you can ask you know, both sets of parents or you know, especially in this day and age of divorce, I mean, there can be four sets, you know, of parents who expect that you’re gonna show up at some point in time.

Jim: Okay, let’s play this through though. Let’s say there is some stress around this and (Chuckling) you go to your mom, the husband goes to the mom and says, “Hey, mom, we’re gonna go with Erin’s family.” And then that sorrow sets in (Chuckling) and maybe some might call it even manipulation. And she’s saying, “Well, Honey, we were counting on you bein’ with us.” (Laughing) What are you gonna–

Greg: Won’t be the–

Jim: –do?

Greg: –won’t be the same without you.

Jim: And you go home to have dinner now with wonderful Erin, your wife and you’re goin’, “Honey, we got a problem.” How do you go about untangling those emotions?

Erin: Well, first and foremost, to identify what you’re feeling as you’re coming into that conversation, but really approaching it as a team and really just realizing and embracing that we’re a team here, the two of us. We are a team and we’re gonna find something that feels good to you and good to me, a win-win in essence.

Greg: So, you’ve gotta start from that place of Genesis, that husband-wife are leaving their families of origin and cleaving to each other. That has to be the basis or this is gonna be so crazy-making. So, I think what you’re really trying to do as Erin is saying, is that you talk about it first as a couple. And then as family maybe are pushing back or, “Oh, we were hopin’ this,” that’s okay. You can say to them, “Hey, we love you and, you know, we’ll try to figure this out.” But again, you’ve got to keep making it clear and this is I think, what’s important for a young couple, who’s the decision maker? Okay, it’s Erin and I.

Jim: It’s not mom or dad.

Greg: We’re a team. I mean, and you’re not doin’ it–

Jim: Honor them.

Greg: –yeah, you’re not doin’ it in a disrespectful way, but you’ve gotta be clear. And it’s very hard for a young couple–

Jim: Oh, it is.

Greg: –in this, to be honest.

Jim: It truly is.

Greg: It’s easier as you grow older, but it still could be a challenge.

Jim: Let’s turn to the Facebook questions that we asked. One woman, Natasha made this comment. She said, “What stresses me out is getting my house ready for company and having to make the house perfect.” I think Jean stresses out with that, too.

Greg: That is so me (Laughing). You know, I worry about the–

John: You mean–

Greg: –cleanliness of our house.

John: –when Erin doesn’t clean it up, you get all stressed?

Greg: Oh. (Laughter) Never, ever.

Jim: Okay, that’s not this program.

Erin: Really, we’re gonna–

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: –set a gauge around this.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: I’m lying.

Jim: Greg, this is an intervention.

Erin: Yeah. (Laughter)

Greg: We love you, Greg. We’re here for you.

Jim: Yeah, you gotta pick up your socks. (Laughter) But Erin, you can relate I’m sure, as we all can and what we try to do hopefully, as husbands is make sure that we’re doin’ our fair share. But how do we as couples manage this better? I think what Natasha’s saying is 95 percent of couples, they all experience this.

Erin: Absolutely and especially for a woman, there’s so much on our plate around the holiday season. I mean, it’s parties; it’s kids. It’s kids’ parties. It’s you know, family. It’s cleaning. It’s packing. You know, there’s so many–

Greg: Gift buying.

Erin: –things going on and I did notice there’s some research out that men tend to be able to relax around the holidays, because if you think (Laughter) about it, they’re off work.

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: And you know, football’s on and–

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: –just the way their brains work is that they’re able to compartmentalize. And you know, this is time off work and I can relax. Where a woman, we are constantly going back and forth in our right and left hemisphere–

Greg: Multitasking.

Erin: –and multitasking and we don’t relax.

Jim: We’re laughing about it, but there is a lot of stress around this one, because I think a woman tends to, if they haven’t worked this out and expectations aren’t agreed upon, they can get very resentful at this point, because he can be kinda dodgin’ the responsibilities there and (Laughter) he is watching–

Greg: That’s such a nice way–

Jim: –the sports.

Greg: –to put it.

Jim: Yeah. He’s watching the fourth football game of the day. Now I’m not speaking from experience here. (Laughter).

Erin: How many bags of chips are you in, Greg?

Greg: Yeah, he can have your Bronco’s–

Jim: Ah.

Greg: –his hat on right now.

Jim: Yeah, but you know, you’ve gotta disengage. How do we, Greg, as husbands clue into the fact that maybe we’ve gotta do more?

Greg: It always has to start with that willingness to anticipate that we’re both gonna have very different expectations around this. I mean, I hope you’re hearing the theme. It’s that this time of year just brings up so many undiscussed expectations. It’s gotta start with there. So, what I would encourage these couples to do is just talk about it. Hey, coming up Christmas, I could ask Erin this question. What would make this holiday season a 10 for you? What would I be doing? How could I best help you?

Jim: Oh, that’s good.

Greg: And just let her talk and hear about it. And I know one of the things that Erin often says is that, you know what? I love it when you ask me what can I do to help? But she said, it’s very different though when you take initiative and you just look around and you notice that there’s lots to do. Just jump in. Because in some ways, when I have to ask her constantly, what can I do to help? What do you need from me? It almost implies like, hey, this is really ultimately your responsibility. I’m just kinda here to help, you know. And it’s great to have that attitude, that I want to serve you. So, ask each other. But also I think for the guys, it really goes a long ways when we just look around, find things to do. Jump in and get them done. I think that really speaks love to a woman. And is that fair to say?

Erin: Yes. And what I love that we’ve done in the past is to come up with a game plan, you know, that you’re … it’s so often Greg will, you know, buy for you know, our son, Garrison and Murphy and I’ll take Taylor and Annie. And so, it’s a game plan that we divide it up and we conquer. It’s not that, you know, he’s coming alongside and helping. It’s that he is gettin’ in the game and that we’re doin’ this as a team. We’re gonna conquer Christmas, the holidays together.

Greg: I mean, what 16-year-old girl wouldn’t want a new war videogame, you know?

Jim: (Chuckling) I was gonna say, do you agree on the gifts ahead of time?

Erin: Yes.

Jim: A package of suckers? (Laughing)

Erin: Yeah.

Erin: We actually, we do, because–

Greg: We do.

Erin: –we come up with a budget and we–

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: –plan.

Jim: Defin[itely].

Erin: And really, that way the expectations are out on the table. You know, this is what I’m expecting you to look for. This is what she’s wanting. We get lists from the kids.

Greg: It’s easy; then I’ve got my list and I go out. She does two; I do two and then we buy for each other–

Jim: Well–

Greg: –and we’re done.

Jim: –let’s move to that. I mean, budget can be the next real pain for the couple, because one has overspent. And again, you’re right back into the argument and disagreement about, what did you do? And how do they go about taking care of that?

Greg: You know, some of the challenge is, that I think people again, remember they wrap so many expectations within this time of year and gift giving can be one of them as a way to show that we’ve got money, as a way to show that I can provide for my family. And so many people who go into debt sort of as a way to kinda make up, you know, for the year. That’s the worst way to go into buying presents. And I think that you mitigate that. You lessen the chances of making poor financial decisions by simply talking about it and just say, looking at our budget, how much can we spend this year? And that’s gonna change from year to year.

So, Erin and I, we agree and then we come up with an amount and then we divide that out. And then we just go do it. And funny though, what I always notice, I’m the worst at sticking to that. I’m tellin’ you, I love when I’m goin’ in and I’m seein’ my kids are wanting certain things. Ah, as a dad, I just want to feel like I really can provide for them.

Jim: So, you’re more spontaneous–

Greg: I can, but–

Jim: –in your purchasing.

Greg: –but again, do you see that’s motivated not necessarily from a great spot.

Jim: Right.

Greg: That tends to then be about me and wanting to make myself feel like I can provide and I’m a good dad and they’ll see that I gave more presents than mom. And so, you know. I’m kidding. I’m kidding. But you know what I’m saying? I mean, so just be very careful. That’s why we’ve gotta keep talking this thing through. And again, if you’re not catching this theme, you’ve got all these expectations. The only way to deal with those, you’ve got to put them out there so that you as a couple first and foremost, can talk through it. If you follow that, you can decide and make any of these decisions, from which house are we going to for Thanksgiving and Christmas, to how many presents we’re making? It’s really gotta start from the communication, that we’re a team and we recognize that.

Program Note:

John: Dr. Greg Smalley and his wife, Erin on today’s “Focus on the Family” with Jim Daly and we’ve got a great resource for you. It’s free. It’s called Helpful Hints for Holiday Struggles and it provides tips on dealing with all those family dynamics that happen when you get together. You’ll find that and ways to donate to this ministry at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio. Let’s go ahead and continue the conversation. Greg and Erin discuss how to talk with your spouse about potential difficulties with extended family, especially when there’s been some resentment in the past.

End of Program Note

Erin: You know, when you look back over the years, you know, even if you’ve been married for two years, you have one year of experience. Where were the triggers? Where were the stress points that you dealt with during the holiday season prior to that? And really what I loved, Greg has been so wonderful with, you know, asking me what do you need? I noticed that sometimes there’s tension between you and this other family member. What do you need from me? How can I support you? How can I come alongside of you and really protect you as your husband? And you know, and making … just coming up with a plan of how to best do that.

Greg: You know, let me frame why this is so important. Okay, here’s the problem. When we go back to visit family, to be around family, it will inevitably pull you back into those roles that you played as you were growing up. I don’t care how old you are. I mean, here as a psychologist, you know, I help people deal with these things. And I’ll go home and I’m (Sound of Pfft); I’m right back in.

Jim: You’re the child once again.

Erin: You’re 12-years-old.

Greg: Exactly and see, the problem when that happens and now we’re doing these crazy things that Erin, she’s not used to watching me do these things, behaving this way. And so, it can really lead to conflict between us. I mean, one of the biggest fights that we ever got into was during one of those holidays times, to where we were with my family and somethin’ happened. And I was actin’ weird. She needed somethin’. And boom! We just were in this huge, huge argument.

And I’m tellin’ you, that had everything to do with the fact that I was already in that weird kinda just reliving all this childhood stuff and just realize that that’s gonna happen and just expect it, because then that’s a part of then what you can talk about to go. Okay, Erin gets really, really quiet when she’s around–

Jim: That’s what I do.

Greg: –family.

Erin: Yeah.

Jim: That’s the same–

Greg: And I’m so not–

Jim: –that I [do].

Greg: –used to that and I just sit there and I’m baffled. I mean, she’s just (Sound of woomf), you know.

Jim: It’s safe there. I mean, that’s a safe place to be.

Greg: It’s her happy place.

Jim: Erin, I can identify with you.

Erin: You know what’s funny is, we were family the other day and it was the kids and us and then some extended family members. And I got a text on my phone. I’m like, hm. So, I look at it and it’s my daughter who’s sitting right next to me. And she literally said, “Why are you acting like that?” (Laughter)

Jim: It’s that obvious.

Erin: It was that obvious. And I literally (Laughing), because often we walk back into our family system, we don’t realize that we take on those roles that we carried, you know, all the first 18 years of growing up in our family of origin.

Greg: And I think that’s why her point is so important, that as we’re driving there, as we’re flying there, at some point it is so worthwhile for us as a couple just to say okay, hey, with this particular family member, this kinda can happen. What’s the game plan? And I love in 1 Corinthians 1:10, it says, “I appeal to you brothers that all of you agree with one another, so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” That should be the goal for every couple as they’re heading to a family gathering. How are we going to stay united? How are we gonna stay as a team? How do you need me to support you? If you talk about that, see you get then all those expectations out in the open and that’s how you make this experience successful.

Jim: And it should be fun. I mean, that’s the goal at this time of year, is to have a good time and remember the, you know, the meaning of the season, that God sent His Son to die for us. And this is what we celebrate at Christmas, is His birth. So, we shouldn’t give it to the enemy, if I could so blunt, that–

Greg: Good way to put it.

Jim: –all this conflict and all this pressure is creating a nastiness in us. It’s an irony that at that hopeful time of year, we would take on the opposite attitude, especially in our relationships. Greg, you talked about a Scripture; Philippians 2:4 is another one. I want to replace a word in here to make the point, but it’s …

Greg: You’re rewriting Scripture?

Jim: (Laughing) No.

Greg: Wow.

Jim: But “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of [your family members] (Chuckling).” Ouch! That can be really hard.

Greg: It can, but even notice though the order. So don’t look not only to your own interests,” so I take that as, okay, figure out what’s goin’ on for you. Figure out what you need first and foremost. Keep your heart open. Keep things light. Keep things fun. So, figure that out. But then, turn and look to the interests of you [and your spouse], then your family. And I like that, ’cause that is so possible. Christ came [for] what? To serve, not to be served. And so, what if that was our attitude?

So, as Erin and I talk, we get some expectations out. We have a game plan on how we can support one another, but then let the conversation turn to, so then as we’re at this gathering, how could we out serve each family member?

Jim: How could we let the Lord shine through us–

Greg: Yeah.

Erin: Hm.

Jim: –even in family situations.

Greg: The … listen to this one, Proverbs 11:25: “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched.” So, in other words, that’s that heart. I want to serve. I want to bring blessing. But I’m telling you, you will not get there if you don’t intentionally talk how to prepare hearts and minds, unified as a couple. What do I need as an individual? If you do that work beforehand, you’ll stay in that open spot to be able to serve and to bless.

Jim: Greg and Erin, we touched on this or alluded to it, but in this day and age, of course, there’s so much divorce. Apply this now to that environment. I can only imagine the greater amount of stress that’s involved there. And I would like to extend some hope to those folks, as well.

Greg: You know, first and foremost, you cannot please everybody. That is impossible. If you’re talking about four sets of families, four sets of different family groups vying for your time, your attention, there’s just no way you can do all of that. So, again, you’ve got to step back, figure out what is the very best for our family and then try to then serve and do your very best. But the only way you’re gonna figure out what everybody else needs is

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Joshua Becker discusses the benefits a family can experience if they reduce the amount of “stuff” they have and simplify their lives. He addresses parents in particular, explaining how they can set healthy boundaries on how much stuff their kids have, and establish new habits regarding the possession of toys, clothes, artwork, gifts and more.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

As an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood, Dr. Patti Giebink believed she was helping women. Later, she began reading scripture and God gradually changed her heart on the abortion issue. Patti tells the story of her long journey from abortion doctor to pro-life and encourages listeners to share the message of life with compassion.

Headshot image of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Patti Giebink

Mrs. Patti Giebink

Dr. Patti Giebink is an OB-GYN who serves on the board of the Alpha Center, a well-known pregnancy center located in Sioux Falls, S.D. She also travels intermittently to work in mission hospitals in Pakistan and other countries. After completing her medical training, Dr. Giebink worked for Planned Parenthood from 1995-1997, during which she was the only abortion-provider in the state of South Dakota. She eventually experienced a radical change of heart on the issue of abortion after receiving God’s grace, forgiveness, and love, and she is now a passionate advocate for the pro-life movement.

Cover image of the book "Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life"

Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life

Unexpected Choice is told from the perspective of a doctor who actually performed abortions through Planned Parenthood. The book chronicles her journey from being a pro-choice physician to someone speaking on behalf of the pro-life movement.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

Do you love your spouse, or do you truly cherish them? Gary Thomas encourages couples to make a daily effort to go beyond the ‘duty’ of love, and combat the natural inclination to drift apart, by choosing to see the best in their spouse.

Mr. Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas is an international speaker and best-selling, award-winning author whose books include Married SexSacred Marriage and Sacred Parenting. He has also written numerous articles for several prominent national magazines. Gary and his wife, Lisa, reside in Texas and have three children. You can learn more about Gary by visiting his website, www.garythomas.com.

cherish front cover

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

“Most marriages survive by gritting teeth and holding on. But marriages can and will not only survive but thrive when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another.” Those are the powerful words of bestselling author Gary Thomas in his newest book–Cherish. And in a world desperate for marriage redemption, it is needed now more than ever. Thomas shows that although there are a countless number of marriages consisting of two people just going through the motions, there are real ways this pattern can be reversed: when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another in proven, loving, and everyday actions and words.

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Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

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Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

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Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

To be an effective parent, you must be a leader in your child’s life, guiding with a gentle hand and setting a solid example. Dr. Randy Schroeder provides the insight you need to be a leader-parent. As he explores the foundational Rs—relationship, routines, responsibilities, and rules—you’ll better understand the role you play in your child’s life. You’ll learn great phrases to employ such as “Either/Or/You Decide” and “When You/Then You”. While there is no perfect parent, this nuts-and-bolts material will equip you to lead your child in a loving, confident manner.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder has spent more than four decades writing, counseling, speaking, and teaching. For nearly 25 years, he was Vice President of Student Personnel Services, Dean of Students, and a professor of pastoral counseling at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. He’s also led a successful counseling practice helping individuals, couples, and families to thrive in their lives and relationships.

Cover image of Dr. Randall Schroeder's book "Simple Habits for Effective Parenting"

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

Effective parenting is now within your grasp! With this inspiring how-to comprehensive book, achieve extraordinary results in raising a child to be self-assured, self-reliant, and responsible! You will be able to successfully lead and lovingly encourage your child toward a Godly life!

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

God designed marriage to reflect His love to the world; and because of this, the enemy wants to destroy God’s beautiful design. Based on his book, Defending Your Marriage, Dr. Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff share about the reality of spiritual warfare against marriages, and how to combat the enemy’s lies with the truth of God. Couples will be encouraged that they’re not alone in the fight for a godly marriage and better equipped to be a shining example for the world around them.

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

Dr. Tim Muehlhoff is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication, apologetics, gender, and conflict resolution.  Tim and his wife, Noreen, are both on staff with Biola’s Center for Marriage and Relationships  where he is a co-host of The Art of Relationship podcast. 

Defending Your Marriage

Is your marriage under attack? Sometimes it can feel like the world is trying to tear your marriage apart. Internal conflicts or external pressures might make you wonder if something sinister is going on. How can you tell if you’re facing spiritual opposition? And what can you do about it? Tim Muehlhoff provides a straightforward resource for protecting your marriage from the threats of the evil one. He looks at what Scripture says about spiritual warfare and how our everyday struggles have deeper spiritual realities. And he provides practical steps for guarding our marriages with the whole armor of God.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 2

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

As a spouse, you have three roles to play—a friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. You’ll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

Kevin A. Thompson (MDiv, Beeson Divinity School) is lead pastor at Community Bible Church, a growing multi-site church with four locations in western Arkansas. Every year he meets with nearly one hundred couples with a range of needs, from pre-marital counseling to navigating the most serious betrayals. A marriage and parenting conference speaker, he and his wife, Jenny, have two children and live in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He blogs at kevinathompson.com.

Cover image of Kevin Thompson's book "Friends, Partners & Lovers"

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

With engaging stories and clear, simple language, pastor Kevin Thompson shows how to live out three distinct roles in marraige. Using solid biblical principles, he helps you and your spouse grow your friendship, be supportive partners through the good times and the bad, and develop a healthy and satisfying sex life.

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

You can confidently and lovingly share your faith—you just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the “Columbo” tactic of asking questions, the “self-defeating argument” tactic to find holes in your opponent’s arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.

Mr. Greg Koukl

Greg Koukl is a writer, public speaker and talk show host who’s spent 30 years advocating for and defending the Christian worldview. Greg has written or contributed to 15 books, including The Story of RealityTactics, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published nearly 230 articles and has spoken on 80 college and university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.

Tactics front cover

Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, you’ll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!